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PM&F Industry News Archives

GE Snatches Honeywell Away from UTC
Textron Licensing Injection-Molding Technology
Dow Automotive Increases Global Presence; Plans Gurit-Essex AG Acquisition
Three Share Nobel for Conductive-Plastics Discoveries
NOVA Chemicals acquires Dow Chemical's share in the Cochin Pipeline
NeighborhoodFind.com moves forward with deal
DSM Reports Best Ever 3rd Quarter Earnings


GE Snatches Honeywell Away from UTC

General Electric Co. has agreed to acquire Honeywell International for $45 billion in stock, breaking up an impending merger between United Technologies and Honeywell. GE's offer is 9.2% higher than United Technologies' scuttled offer.

As part of the agreement, John F. Welch Jr., GE chairman, will defer his planned retirement from April until the end of 2001 to see the deal through and manage his company's largest acquisition. GE expects the transaction to be completed by early next year, the New York Times reports.

The deal brings Honeywell - itself formed by a merger between Honeywell Inc. and Allied Signal - into General Electric's portfolio of disparate businesses, including the manufacture of aircraft engines. Honeywell, based in Morristown, NJ, produces aerospace systems, power and transportation products, specialty chemicals, home security systems, and building controls. It will close its 550-employee headquarters, although 1750 others in various businesses and laboratories on its leased Morristown campus will stay where they are for now.

GE expects the deal to yield significant cost savings, but the companies have not determined how many members of its combined work force of 460,000 might lose their jobs. GE's directors approved the deal yesterday after Honeywell's board voted on Saturday evening in favor of being acquired by GE. The combination must be approved by regulators both in the United States and Europe, who are likely to scrutinize the acquisition and possibly force divestitures of certain assets.

United Technologies did not learn the details of GE's offer until it was too late to respond, says George David, the company's chief executive. He says Michael R. Bonsignore, chief executive of Honeywell called him on Friday afternoon and said Honeywell was talking to GE as well. David did not bow out immediately. "I was not going to engage in a bidding war," he says, "but I made it clear that we'd be open to discussion, that there was always a nickel available to make things happen." But by Sunday afternoon the deal had been signed.

To hear him tell it, Honeywell was one of many companies GE's Welch had planned to discuss with his successor as possible acquisition candidates. Still, with retirement so near, Welch, 64, says he had not planned to approach any of the companies himself. "I was at the end of my game. I'd leased a new office in Connecticut. I was ready to start my new career," he reports, refusing, however, to say what that career would be.

Welch says one of the conditions of the deal was that he stay on as chairman awhile longer, probably to ensure stability in the stock price. "Their investment bankers made it clear that I had to stay," he reveals.

Although Honeywell's product lines jibe almost as nicely with GE's as they do with United Technologies, Honeywell's role as part of GE is expected to be radically different from what it would have been as part of UTC. UTC and Honeywell are roughly the same size, and that deal would have been a merger of equals.

GE, of course, is not changing its corporate name or its headquarters location in Fairfield, CT. Although the Honeywell brand, which has tremendous force in the worlds of aircraft engines and home thermostats, will undoubtedly survive, perhaps as GE-Honeywell, its corporate name will not.

Bonsignore and two other Honeywell executives will join GE's board, but it is virtually certain that he will not be its chairman and his presence is unlikely to have much of an impact on GE's well-laid succession plan, either. Bonsignore will be 60 in April, and Welch, who has run GE since 1981, has often said he wants his successor to have as long a run at the top as he did.

In June 1999, when Honeywell and Allied Signal first announced that they would merge, Bonsignore promised that the company would bail out of ancillary businesses, cut $250 million in costs, and increase earnings 20% this year. The company is on track with its cost cuts, and has either sold or is about to sell businesses in friction brakes, consumer automotive products, and home-security systems. It has also won more than $3 billion in new aircraft contracts this year. But last month, Honeywell warned investors that earnings growth would not exceed 12% this year. People close to Honeywell say that its board blamed the weak euro and soaring oil prices, not Bonsignore, for Honeywell's performance. They also say that reports of infighting between Honeywell and Allied Signal executives are untrue.

By law, the merged company cannot sell any major businesses for about two years after the deal closes, but Honeywell can still divest itself of smaller operations that it planned to sell before beginning merger talks.

Most of Honeywell's other businesses fit right into GE's portfolio. GE is a major provider of commercial aircraft engines, and Honeywell makes engines for business jets. Honeywell also makes auxiliary power units and aircraft instrumentation, and it has technology to upgrade air-traffic-control systems the federal government has said it needs to ease airline traffic congestion.

Both companies make plastics and chemicals and power-generation systems, but the products are not identical. GE has a joint venture with Cisco that helps customers design manufacturing systems; Honeywell has manufacturing software and controls. Even Honeywell's home and building controls could fit in with GE appliances, in that they would enable GE to offer a much broader array of products for the home.

Honeywell and GE have similar cultures as well. Both companies have adopted Six Sigma, a complex statistical method for quality control, and both have moved heavily into Internet sales.


Textron Licensing Injection-Molding Technology

Textron Automotive Co., a business segment of Textron Inc., says it plans to offer licenses of its proprietary IntelliMold closed-loop injection-molding process to non-competing companies.

The licensing activity is the company's first foray into actively commercializing proprietary intellectual property and technology, and is another milestone in Textron Automotive's virtual integration strategy. Textron Automotive's partners in its commercialization of IntelliMold include the independent Research Triangle Institute, located in Research Triangle Park, NC, and the Deloitte and Touche Intellectual Asset Management Group.

IntelliMold is the first injection-molding technology that measures and controls pressure and temperature inside the mold cavity. The resulting improvements in molding-press performance have been documented to reduce scrap and rework rates, load rates, warping, and cycle times while improving repeatability, mechanical strength, and surface quality. The process operates like an "auto pilot" to achieve consistent performance for injection molding machines and has broad applications in medical products, telecommunications, computer, aerospace, and even athletic gear.

It's based on the simple principle that you can't control what you can't measure. The technology uses pressure transducers inside the mold cavity and nozzle to measure and control the molding in real time through a closed-loop system. The transducers read pressure and temperature electronically every 2 msec or less to guarantee that each mold fills completely and evenly. Information on IntelliMold can be found at www.intellimold.net.

"We've applied IntelliMold on several of our presses with spectacular results," says Bill Maclean, president, Textron Automotive Trim, a $1.8 billion division of TAC and the largest injection molder in North America, according to annual rankings by Plastics News. "We've achieved scrap reductions, shortened cycle times, and outstanding cost savings. Molders have struggled for years to control the injection-molding process. Now, IntelliMold allows us to mold with precision and conviction."

"Licensees will find IntelliMold of significant interest because it eliminates uncertainty, replacing black art in the molding process with scientific controls," says Laura Schoppe, manager of commercial programs for Research Triangle Institute. "As a result, molders will achieve greater control, quality and output, which drive cost savings and enhanced profitability."


Dow Automotive Increases Global Presence; Plans Gurit-Essex AG Acquisition

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. USA and WATTWIL, Switzerland – October 12, 2000 — The Dow Chemical Company, through its business unit, Dow Automotive, has reached an agreement with Gurit-Heberlein AG to acquire the 50 percent interest in Gurit-Essex AG that it does not currently own.

Gurit-Essex is the largest European supplier of automotive adhesives, sealants and body engineered systems for the automotive OEM and aftermarket. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Gurit-Essex was formed more than 30 years ago as a joint venture between Gurit-Heberlein and Essex Chemical Company Inc. to supply structural adhesives for glass bonding to the regional automotive industry in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and countries of the former Soviet Union. In 1988, The Dow Chemical Company purchased Essex Chemical, and therefore became a 50/50 partner with Gurit-Heberlein in the Gurit-Essex organization.

"This agreement will strengthen our relationships with Dow Automotive's global customers and will afford a significant growth opportunity for us," said Larry Denton, Dow Automotive president. "We're excited to be able to offer customers the combined resources, products and personnel of the new organization-and look forward to the opportunity to increase the visibility of Dow Automotive on a global scale."

The acquisition will globalize Dow Automotive's product availability, and double the company's adhesives, sealants and body engineered systems business.

Additionally, the acquisition will enhance Dow Automotive's technology offering, combining engineering capabilities and innovative solutions to customers on a global scale.

The transaction is expected to close by the end of first quarter, 2001, pending regulatory approvals.

Gurit-Heberlein is headquartered in Wattwil, Switzerland. Gurit-Essex has nine sales and manufacturing offices in eight countries — France, Germany, Italy, Romania, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland and The United Kingdom. Upon approval of the agreement, the company's operations will be integrated into Dow Automotive's global business. Additional information regarding Gurit-Essex's products and services can be found at www.gurit-essex.com. Additional information regarding Gurit-Heberlein can be found at www.gurit.com.

Dow Automotive, with offices and application development centers worldwide, offers materials, parts, modules and systems for automotive interior, exterior, chassis/powertrain and body engineered systems applications. In addition to the company's broad product portfolio, Dow Automotive delivers research and development, design expertise, advanced engineering and supply chain management support to customers around the world. Additional information regarding Dow Automotive products and services can be found at www.dowautomotive.com.


Three Share Nobel for Conductive-Plastics Discoveries

Two Americans and a Japanese researcher won the Nobel Prize in chemistry today for their discoveries that plastic can conduct electricity, allowing it to be used to reduce static electricity and interference on photographic film and computer screens, the Associated Press reports.
Alan J. Heeger, 64, of the University of California at Santa Barbara; Alan G. MacDiarmid, 73, of the University of Pennsylvania; and Hideki Shirakawa 64, of the University of Tsukuba in Japan were cited for their revolutionary discovery that plastics can, with modifications, be made to conduct electricity as well as insulate. "When it comes to light-emitting imaging diodes, there are no corresponding usages at all for metals. This research will open up entirely new areas that we've only seen the beginning of," says Per Ahlberg, a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

The three researchers found "that a thin film of polyacetylene could be oxidized with iodine vapor, increasing its electrical conductivity a billion times," the citation says. The joint work of the three researchers in Philadelphia led to the development of light-emitting diodes in plastics. The so-called "brilliant plastics" could eventually lead to the development of flat television screens and luminous traffic and information signs that don't need bulbs, the academy says.

The conductive polymers have already been used to reduce static electricity and interference on photographic film and computer screens." One reason for the great commercial potential of conductive and semiconductive polymers is that they can be produced quickly and cheaply," the citation points out.

Alfred Nobel, the wealthy Swedish industrialist and inventor of dynamite, endowed the physics, chemistry, literature, medicine, and peace prizes in his will, but left only vague guidelines for the selection committees. The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, which also chooses the physics and economics winners, invited nominations from previous recipients and experts in the fields before whittling down its choices, but deliberations were conducted in strict privacy.

Ahmed Zewail, an Egyptian-American, won last year's chemistry prize for pioneering the use of rapid-fire laser flashes that illuminate the motion of atoms in a molecule. The prizes always are presented Dec. 10, the anniversary of Nobel's death in 1896. The prize is worth 9 million kronor (U.S.$915,000) this year.


NOVA Chemicals acquires Dow Chemical's share in the Cochin Pipeline

Pittsburgh, PA - NOVA Chemicals Corporation (NCX: NYSE, TSE) announced today the company exercised its right of first refusal to purchase all of Dow Chemical Canada Inc.'s 32.5 percent interest in the Cochin Pipeline System, which is subject to regulatory approval.

The Cochin pipeline system provides a strategic link for NOVA Chemicals to transport ethylene and surplus ethane between its manufacturing facilities in Joffre, Alberta and Sarnia, Ontario. NOVA Chemicals already holds a 20 percent position in the Cochin pipeline and does not intend to keep this additional share as a long-term investment.

"The Cochin pipeline system is an important strategic part of our Alberta Advantage," said Jeffrey M. Lipton, President and CEO, NOVA Chemicals. "However, we are a focused commodity chemicals company and not interested in holding a larger position in pipeline operations long-term."

The Cochin Pipeline consists of approximately 1,900 miles of 12-inch-pipeline operating between Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta and Sarnia, Ontario. The pipeline transports high vapor pressure ethane, ethylene, propane, butane and natural gas liquids (NGLs) to the Midwestern U.S. and Eastern Canadian petrochemical and fuel markets. Formed in the late 1970s, the pipeline system is a joint venture of subsidiaries of BP, Conoco, Shell, Dow Chemicals and NOVA Chemicals.

NOVA Chemicals is a focused commodity chemical company, producing olefins/polyolefins and styrenics at 18 locations in Canada, the United States, France, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.


NeighborhoodFind.com moves forward with deal

Charlottesville-based NeighborhoodFind.com has announced a partnership with MoveSource.com, a St. Clair Shores, Mich.-based company that provides counseling and moving services to relocating families, businesses and organizations.
ìThis partnership with MoveSource.com will allow our customers the opportunity to receive the benefits of one of the largest one-stop move services companies on the Internet,î said Ken Clarry, president and founder of the company, said in a statement.
ìBy linking with MoveSource.com, we continue our mission of providing community information and the best relocation solutions available.î
Through its site, which offers neighborhood details, photos and local weather, NeighborhoodFind.com matches home seekers with real-estate agents who sponsor the various neighborhoods.


DSM Reports Best Ever Third Quarter Earnings

Heerlen, The Netherlands (November 1, 2000)—DSM, a highly integrated group of companies with worldwide interests in life-science products, performance materials and chemicals, released its quarterly earnings report today. DSM’s net result from ordinary activities for the third quarter of 2000 was EUR 153 million, up 46% from Q3 1999 (EUR 105 million). Net earnings (excluding extraordinary result) per ordinary share amounted to EUR 1.53 — 47% higher than the third quarter of 1999 (EUR 1.04).

Peter Elverding, chairman of the DSM Managing Board, said, "We are enthusiastic about DSM’s third-quarter performance. This was the best third quarter in our history in terms of both sales and result. I am particularly pleased that the growth in the Life Science Products and Performance Materials clusters continues to be strong and that the decline in Polymers & Industrial Chemicals has turned out to be less severe than expected, although I should add that we were helped by a high dollar exchange rate."

DSM’s net result from ordinary activities for the third quarter of 2000 was EUR 153 million, up 46% from Q3 1999 (EUR 105 million). Net earnings (excluding extraordinary result) per ordinary share amounted to EUR 1.53 — 47% higher than the third quarter of 1999 (EUR 1.04).

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